St.Claude de la Colombiere~Apostle of the Sacred Heart

St. Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682) was born to a noble family in France and became a Jesuit priest. He was known for his solid and serious sermons and his dedication to observing the rule of his Order with exactness. He became the rector of a Jesuit house next to the Monastery of the Visitation where St. Margaret Mary Alacoque lived, who was given special revelations from Jesus of His Sacred Heart. Claude became St. Margaret Mary’s spiritual director, and, like her, became a zealous promoter of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1676 he was sent to England to attend the wife of the future King James II, serving at court as preacher and confessor. When anti-Catholic persecutions broke out, Claude was falsely accused of being involved in a ‘papist plot’ and was thrown into prison. While there his health suffered due to mistreatment. He was preserved from execution and instead banished from England by royal decree. He returned to his native France, where his fragile health continued to deteriorate until he died a few years later. The day after his death, St. Margaret Mary received supernatural assurance that he needed no prayers, as he was already in heaven. His feast day is February 15.

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